Thursday, May 18, 2017
6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Hyatt Regency Houston
(black tie optional)
– Honoring –
CEO of SureTec Insurance Company
John is the founder and Chairman of the Board of SureTec, which has become one of the top 20 surety companies in the United States.
In the early 80’s, John created Universal Surety of America (USA). Under his direction, USA became the largest surety company in Texas. In late 1997, USA merged with a national surety organization to become one of the nation’s largest surety companies.
Recognized as one of the most innovative executives in the surety industry, John is past Chairman of the National Association of Independent Sureties (NAIS) and is on the Board of Directors of the Surety and Fidelity Association of America (SFAA). In addition to various surety and trade groups, he is a former member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and an active member of the World Presidents’ Organization (WPO).
John is involved with various non-profit organizations, is an active member of Chapelwood United Methodist Church and continues to focus on his mission to grow from success to significance. He is the father of three boys and makes his home in Houston, Texas.
Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients
Founder, Sun Coast Resources, Inc.
Kathy Lehne, born and raised in the Jasper, Texas area was just 23 years of age when she decided to venture out on her own and start Sun Coast Resources, Inc. in 1985.
As President and founder of Sun Coast, Kathy didn’t let gender hold her back. Sun Coast started from humble beginnings. With encouragement and help from a trusted friend Kathy decided to start a wholesale petroleum distributorship, against great odds. Kathy’s “powerful entrepreneurial urge” met head on with opportunity, and Sun Coast Resources was born.
Kathy and Sun Coast have won countless awards over the years, and numerous articles have been written about her accomplishments. Headquartered in Houston, Sun Coast markets gasoline, diesel fuel, marine and aviation fuels, plus a complete line of lubricants. Sun Coast also offers fueling equipment programs as well as transportation and emergency response services to thousands of end-users and commercial enterprises throughout a 40 state market area.
With 17 offices in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, Sun Coast currently employs about 1,300 professionals, and its sales revenue over the past several years has exceeded $1 billion, ranking the Company as one of the largest Woman-Owned Businesses in Texas, and third largest in the nation.
Kathy and her husband Kyle Lehne, live in Houston, have 3 children—Karly, Kelsy and Kash.
President & CEO, Reasoning Mind
Alex began his career at the Institute for Control Sciences, Russia’s top computer science research center. After immigrating to the United States in 1990, he led an artificial intelligence lab at Texas A&M University and – together with his wife, Julia – ran a successful petroleum consulting firm.
Having seen the shortcomings of math curriculum in the nation’s school systems, Alex had the idea of applying methods of artificial intelligence to spread the world’s best math teaching knowledge across the country. In 2000, he co-founded (together with Julia and their son, George) Reasoning Mind, a philanthropic venture that is using technology to transform math education. Under Alex’s leadership, Reasoning Mind has grown to 250 employees and contractors and served over 120,000 students in 520 schools during the 2015-16 academic year alone. Reasoning Mind has created an engaging online education system, a world-class mathematics curriculum for elementary and middle grades, and a nationally acclaimed professional development program.
The effectiveness of the Reasoning Mind program has been confirmed in 10+ independent studies with multiple studies registering medium and large effect size. The project has raised over $70M in the period of 2001-2016, has been endorsed by many of the nation’s top mathematics experts for its rigor and cohesiveness, and recently won the Deloitte RightStep™ Innovation Prize.
Alex holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in applied mathematics from the Moscow Oil and Gas Institute and a doctorate in physics and mathematics from Moscow State University.
Vice President, Reasoning Mind
Julia Khachatryan oversees user experience, art, and design at Reasoning Mind. She leads a team of graphic and interface designers, artists, and animators developing interfaces for Reasoning Mind’s software and curriculum materials. In addition, she has been the main author and product manager of Blueprint, an innovative PreK-1 math curriculum rolled out to schools in the 2016-2017 academic year.
Since co-founding the organization, Julia has worked in a variety of areas, including strategy, fundraising, administration, and finance and accounting. She played a key role in running Reasoning Mind’s first pilot project in 2003, which laid the foundation for the organization’s subsequent growth.
Reasoning Mind’s art and design team, which Julia assembled and leads, has consistently produced materials of a quality unmatched by anyone else in the e-learning industry. Over the last several years, she has led an increased focus on usability, producing more intuitive interfaces and further improving the pedagogical effectiveness of the program along with students’ enjoyment of the learning process.
Julia began her career as a petroleum engineering researcher, working as a Junior Research Scientist at the Moscow Oil and Gas Institute. During the 1990s, she worked as a petroleum consultant, co-founding the Russian Petroleum Consultants Corporation, where she supervised dozens of major projects as Executive Vice President.
Julia holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in petroleum engineering from the Moscow Oil and Gas Institute. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, cooking, and reading.
Founder, Former Chairman & CEO, eCardio Diagnostics
Larry Lawson, a highly successful entrepreneur, founded eCardio Diagnostics in 2004, which is operating as Preventice Services. With more than 45 years of medical device industry and health care industry experience, Larry draws on his extensive market development and commercialization expertise to identify opportunities to advance arrhythmia diagnostic solutions.
As an experienced health care executive and entrepreneur, Larry was founder and CEO of Diagnostic Monitoring Associates, a national marketing and sales firm specializing in the development and delivery of cardiac services to physician practices. Prior to DMA, he held various positions within health care companies including executive management responsibilities at Johnson & Johnson, Edward Weck & Co., and Deseret Medical.
Larry achieved success with several early-stage medical device companies including Life Med Technologies and Futuremed Interventional.
Transportation & Logistics
President & CEO, Logical Innovations, Inc.
With a career in technology and management that spans three decades, Denise Navarro has established herself as a respected business leader in the Houston/Galveston County area and within the government sector.
After earning a bachelor of arts in computer information systems and a master of business administration (MBA), both from the University of Houston – Clear Lake, Navarro dedicated herself to a career supporting the federal government and commercial industries, before launching Logical Innovations and its majority owned/managed joint ventures.
Navarro was named Small Business Person of the Year in 2016 by the U.S. Small Business Administration Houston District, Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year in 2016 by NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year in 2015 by NASA Johnson Space Center and Distinguished Alumna in 2016 by College of the Mainland.
President, Atec. Inc.
Paul R. Fenley, President of Atec, Inc. and a native Texan, has been with our company for over 29 years. After graduating from Texas A&M in Aerospace Engineering, he began his career at Atec as a Support Engineer. He moved up through the ranks of Project Design/Management to Vice President of Engineering and Marketing. In 2008, he was promoted to President.
As an engineer, he developed several products for our engine testing systems which are the groundwork for our current successes, including our innovative Phoenix™ series Modular Test Cells. His efforts on our Space Systems projects, along with his drive to modernize our facility systems and equipment, have led to our continued successes with NASA, Boeing and Aerojet Rocketdyne. His focus on “Planning to Win” has allowed us to acquire two competitors over the last three years, more than doubling Atec’s sales and capacity.
Paul continues to lead Atec in new frontiers, including our new 3D Additive Manufacturing initiative. His professional involvement includes the Texas A&M Aerospace Engineering Advisory Board, SAE Turbine Test Cell Standards Group, AIAA TETWOG Working Group, Houston Technology Center Board Member and former President of SWAPRA. He lives in Sugar Land, Texas with his wife and children.